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Animal Testing Essay, Research Paper

Using animals for testing is wrong and should be banned. They

have rights just as we do. Twenty-four hours a day humans are using

defenseless animals for cruel and most often useless tests. The

animals have no way of fighting back. This is why there should be new

laws to protect them. These legislations also need to be enforced more

regularly. Too many criminals get away with murder.

Although most labs are run by private companies, often

experiments are conducted by public organizations. The US government,

Army and Air force in particular, has designed and carried out many

animal experiments. The purposed experiments were engineered so that

many animals would suffer and die without any certainty that this

suffering and death would save a single life, or benefit humans in

anyway at all; but the same can be said for tens of thousands of other

experiments performed in the US each year. Limiting it to just

experiments done on beagles, the following might sock most people: For

instance, at the Lovelace Foundation, Albuquerque, New Mexico,

experimenters forced sixty-four beagles to inhale radioactive Strontium

90 as part of a larger ^Fission Product Inhalation Program^ which began

in 1961 and has been paid for by the US Atomic Energy Commission. In

this experiment Twenty-five of the dogs eventually died. One of the

deaths occurred during an epileptic seizure; another from a brain

hemorrhage. Other dogs, before death, became feverish and anemic, lost

their appetites, and had hemorrhages. The experimenters in their

published report, compared their results with that of other experiments

conducted at the University of Utah and the Argonne National Laboratory

in which beagles were injected with Strontium 90. They concluded that

the dose needed to produce ^early death^ in fifty percent of the sample

group differed from test to test because the dogs injected with

Strontium 90 retain more of the radioactive substance than dogs forced

to inhale it. Also, at the University of Rochester School Of Medicine

a group of experimenters put fifty beagles in wooden boxes and

irradiated them with different levels of radiation by x-rays.

Twenty-one of the dogs died within the first two weeks. The

experimenters determined the dose at which fifty percent of the animals

will die with ninety-five percent confidence. The irritated dogs

vomited, had diarrhea, and lost their appetites. Later, they

hemorrhaged from the mouth, nose, and eyes. In their report, the

experimenters compared their experiment to others of the same nature

that each used around seven hundred dogs. The experimenters said that

the injuries produced in their own experiment were ^Typical of those

described for the dog^ (Singer 30). Similarly, experimenters for the

US Food and Drug Administration gave thirty beagles and thirty pigs

large amounts of Methoxychlor (a pesticide) in their food, seven days a

week for six months, ^In order to insure tissue damage^ (30). Within

eight weeks, eleven dogs exhibited signs of ^abnormal behavior^

including nervousness, salivation, muscle spasms, and convolutions.

Dogs in convultions breathed as rapidly as two hundred times a minute

before they passed out from lack of oxygen. Upon recovery from an

episode of convulsions and collapse, the dogs were uncoordinated,

apparently blind, and any stimulus such as dropping a feeding pan,

squirting water, or touching the animals initiated another convulsion.

After further experimentation on an additional twenty beagles, the

experimenters concluded that massive daily doses of Methoxychlor

produce different effects in dogs from those produced in pigs. These

three examples should be enough to show that the Air force beagle

experiments were in no way exceptional. Note that all of these

experiments, according to the experimenters^ own reports, obviously

caused the animals to suffer considerably before dying. No steps were

taken to prevent this suffering, even when it was clear that the

radiation or poison had made the animals extremely sick. Also, these

experiments are parts of series of similar experiments, repeated with

only minor variations, that are being carried out all over the

country. These experiments Do Not save human lives or improve them in

any way. It was already known that Strontium 90 is unhealthy before

the beagles died; and the experimenters who poisoned dogs and pigs with

Methoxychlor knew beforehand that the large amounts they were feeding

the animals (amounts no human could ever consume) would cause damage.

In any case, as the differing results they obtained on pigs and dogs

make it clear, it is not possible to reach any firm conclusion about

the effects of a substance on humans from tests on other species. The

practice of experimenting on non-human animals as it exists today

throughout the world reveals the brutal consequences of speciesism

(Singer 29).

In this country everyone is supposed to be equal, but

apparently some people just don^t have to obey the law. That

is, in New York and some other states, licensed laboratories are immune

from ordinary anticruelty laws, and these places are often owned by

state universities, city hospitals, or even The United States Public

Health Service. It seems suspicious that some government run

facilities could be ^immune^ from their own laws (Morse 19). In

relation, ^No law requires that cosmetics or household products be

tested on animals. Nevertheless, by six^o clock this evening, hundreds

of animals will have their eyes, skin, or gastrointestinal systems

unnecessarily burned or destroyed. Many animals will suffer and die

this year to produce ^new^ versions of deodorant, hair spray, lipstick,

nail polish, and lots of other products^ (Sequoia 27). Some of the

largest cosmetics companies use animals to test their products. These

are just a couple of the horrifying tests they use, namely, the Drazie

Test. The Drazie test is performed almost exclusively on albino

rabbits. They are preferred because they are docile, cheap, and their

eyes do not shed tears (so chemicals placed in them do not wash out).

They are also the test subject of choice because their eyes are clear,

making it easier to observe destruction of eye tissue; their corneal

membranes are extremely susceptible to injury. During each test the

rabbits are immobilized (usually in a ^stock^, with only their heads

protruding) and a solid or liquid is placed in the lower lid of one eye

of each rabbit. These substances can range from mascara to aftershave

to oven cleaner. The rabbits^ eyes remain clipped open. Anesthesia is

almost never administered. After that, the rabbits are examined at

intervals of one, twenty-four, forty-eight, seventy-two, and one

hundred an sixty-eight hours. Reactions, which may range from severe

inflammation, to clouding of the cornea, to ulceration and rupture of

the eyeball, are recorded by technicians. Some studies continue for a

period of weeks. No other attempt is made to treat the rabbits or to

seek any antidotes. The rabbits who survive the Drazie test may then

be used as subjects for skin-inflammation tests (27). Another widely

used procedure is the LD-50. This is the abbreviation of the Lethal

Dose 50 test. LD-50 is the lethal dose of something that will kill

fifty percent of all animals in a group of forty to two hundred. Most

commonly, animals are force-feed substances (which may be toothpaste,

shaving cream, drain cleaner, pesticides, or anything else they want to

test) through a stomach tube and observed for two weeks or until

death. Non-oral methods of administering the test include injection,

forced inhalation, or application to animals skin. Symptoms routinely

include tremors, convultions, vomiting, diarrhea, paralysis, or

bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth. Animals that survive are

destroyed (29). Additionally, when one laboratory^s research on

animals establishes something significant, scores of other labs repeat

the experiment, and more thousands of animals are needlessly tortured

and killed (Morse 8).

Few labs buy their animal test subjects from legitimate pet

stores and the majority use illegal pet dealers. There are many stolen

animal dealers that house the animals before, during , and after

testing. These ^farms^ most frequently hold animals between tests

while the animals recuperate, before facing another research ordeal.

These so called farms in question are mainly old barn-like buildings

used as hospitals and convalescent (recovery) wards are filthy,

overcrowded pens. At one farm in particular dogs with open chest

wounds and badly infected incisions, so weak that many could not stand,

were the order of the day. These dogs were ^recuperating^ from

open-heart and kidney surgery. Secondly, a litter of two-day-old pups

were found in a basket, with no food provisions in sight (Morse 19).

In every pen there were dogs suffering from highly contagious

diseases. An animal^s road to a lab is seldom a direct one. Whether

he^s stolen picked up as a stray, or purchased, there^s a de tour first

to the animal dealer^s farm; There he waits- never under satisfactory

conditions- until his ride, and often life, comes to an end at the

laboratory (23).

Every day of the year, hundreds of thousands of fully conscious

animals are scalded, or beaten, or crushed to death, and more are

subjected to exotic surgery and then allowed to die slowly and in

agony. There is no reason for this suffering to continue (Morse 8).

In conclusion, animal testing is inhumane and no animal should

be forced to endure such torture. Waste in government is one

thing; it seems to be an accepted liability of democracy. But the

wasting of lives is something else. How did it ever get this way?

Fox, Michael Allen. The Case For Animal Experimentation. Los

Angeles: University Of California Press, 1986.

Jasper, James M. and Dorothy Nelkin, eds. The Animal Rights

Crusade. New York: Macmillion Inc., 1992, 103-56.

Morse, Mel. Ordeal Of The Animals. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall

International, 1968.

Sequoia, Anna. 67 Ways To Save The Animals. New York: Harper

Collins, 1990.

Singer, Peter. Animal Liberation. New York: Random House, 1975.

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